Mario Batali Hair Doll Finally Within Reach

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Pony up 500k and it's yours.

Mario Batali might chop off his trademark ponytail, if the price is right. The chef has partnered with Food & Wine magazine and nine of the country's top chefs for Chefs Make Change (CMC), a nationwide campaign that launches today. CMC aims to raise one million dollars for the chefs' respective philanthropic organizations; individuals can donate money on Food & Wine's Facebook page or website. If the organization can raise $500,000 for the Mario Batali Foundation by February 7, Mario Batali will part with his ponytail.

Mario Batali To Chop Off Iconic Ponytail For $500,000 [HP]
Related: Mario Batali Is Sorry

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Your Dream Gig: Now Within Reach

Back in the day, as in 2007, Wall Street compensated its employees in a way that made them feel loved. In a way that made them feel special. In a way that made the long hours, the constant stress, the soaring highs and the crashing lows, the verbal and sometimes physical abuse bearable. Now, obviously, not so much. Combine that with suffocating regulation and you've got a bunch of financial services hacks who are saying "I want out." Some, like the Goldman partners who've already made enough money to not have to work again, are simply retiring. Others are waiting to get fired. Yet other are seeking out the warm embrace of hedge funds. A lesser number, though, are using the shift as an opportunity to finally leap for that dream, be it baking cupcakes or slapping bare asses with branches. But about your dream? You know the one. The one you've never shared with a soul. The one that's always in the back of your head. The one that keeps you up at night. The has you giving the side-eye to the dog-walkers you see your neighborhood-- because it's not fair. YOU should be the one wrangling the packs of pups, masterfully juggling dozens of leashes at a time that you'd never let get knotted.  Unfortunately, because this is the world we live in, no one would ever give you a chance. Something about being overqualified for the job, they said, looking you up and down in your dress pants and blue button-down, smirking, thinking "Like this guy can command the respect of a bunch of bitches." Plus, you had a lifestyle to maintain and the golden handcuffs were still a serious draw. Now though, you've been unshackled. And you know all those little plastic bags you've been subconsciously saving under the sink for years, waiting for your moment to come? It's here now.

Mario Batali Kind Of Toppled The Way Tips Are Distributed And Took Most Of Them Into His Hands

Remember, back in November, when Mario Batali provoked the ire of many a financial services employee when he said that "the ways the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their hands is as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys"? Kind of silly of to ask if you can jog your memory that far back, since if you're one of the thousands that responded by vowing never to set foot in one of that bastard's restaurants ever again (and made certain others wouldn't as well, by noting in reviews that "fingernails" and "dog hair" were preferable to his food) you not only remember but think of that day, and stew over it, with every waking moment. And in the days and the weeks and the months since, you have waited for your moment to give him a taste of his own medicine, i.e. likening some of his questionable actions to those of genocidal maniacs. That moment has come. Mario Batali, the celebrity TV chef and New York restaurant owner, is often seen with actress Gwyneth Paltrow, taste-testing the culinary delights of Spain in their public television series “On the Road Again.” Batali took a detour, through his lawyers, to New York federal court in Manhattan, where he was sued and accused of cheating workers of part of their tips, as well as failing to pay overtime and the minimum wage. He and his associate Joseph Bastianich agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle the class- action lawsuit, according to court papers. Servers at restaurants including Babbo and Del Posto sued in 2010 alleging their employers violated the Fair Labor Standards Act -- in part by pocketing gratuities equal to as much as 5 percent of nightly wine sales. “Mr. Batali, Mr. Bastianich, and their restaurants unlawfully confiscated a portion of their workers’ hard-earned tips in order to supplement their own profits,” employees said in their complaint. Batali got into hot water in November by saying bankers are “not heroes but they are people that had a really huge effect on the way the world is operating.” He apologized the next day, after financial industry executives criticized him and called for a boycott of his establishments. Batali Agrees to $5.25M Server-Tip Suit Accord [Bloomberg]